Three people – including a 17-month-old girl – lost their lives on Day Two of Operation Safe Return.
The toddler died after she was struck by a 4WD at a caravan park in Lake Conjola, while two men, aged 76 and 46, died in separate single-vehicle crashes at Wisemans Ferry and Blayney, yesterday (Saturday 26 January 2019).
Operation Safe Return, the State’s January long weekend road-safety operation, started at 12.01am on Friday 25 January 2019 and will continue until 11.59pm on Monday 28 January 2019.
Double demerits will be in place over the entire long-weekend for all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet offences.
In Northern NSW, police seized more than $46,000 cash after a vehicle stop near Byron Bay about 11.45pm. Officers attached to Byron Bay Highway Patrol stopped a black Ford Ranger due to a faulty brake light as it was being driven north on the Pacific Highway at Brunswick Heads.
When police searched the vehicle they found more than $46,000 cash. The 44-year-old male driver returned a positive roadside drug test for methylamphetamine and was arrested and taken to Byron Bay Police Station, where he was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for the offences of dealing with proceeds with crime, and goods in custody. He is due to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on Thursday 21 March 2019. Further charges will depend on the outcome of test results.
Other examples of traffic-related incidents during Day 2 of Operation Safe Return include:
About 5.30pm, officers attached to The Hills Highway Patrol attended a Kenthurst home where a 41-year-old man was arrested for breach of bail, drive whilst disqualified, and use vehicle with number plate obscured. The arrest follows inquiries into the identity of a driver who allegedly evaded police on 20 January 2019, after being detected speeding in a residential area. The man has been charged with drive whilst disqualified, and drug-related offences, and refused bail to appear before Parramatta Bail Court today (Sunday 27 January 2019).
About 6pm, a silver Toyota Corolla heading north on General Homes Drive, Mascot, was stopped by police after being detected allegedly travelling 80km/h in a 40km/h zone. Routine checks revealed the 19-year-old driver’s licence was suspended due to speeding offences. He was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for the offences of driving while suspended, and an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said the work of Highway Patrol officers from Byron Bay and The Hills was unfortunately spoilt by the number of deaths recorded on day two.
“While it’s positive to see proactive police work charging a potentially high-risk traffic offender, and intercepting a substantial amount of cash, three lives lost in one day is three too many,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“On a positive note, 92 fewer people were charged with drink-driving offences than on the same day last year.
“As we enter the second half of the operation, please take care in your travels so you arrive home safely from the weekend’s festivities,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
Key statistics (Cumulative total – started on 25 January 2019):
Total infringements issued (not speeding): 4384
Speed infringements: 2330
Breath tests: 96, 826
Drink-driving charges: 104
Lives lost: 3